Elon Musk to Roll Out New Pay-Per-Article Feature for Twitter

Elon Musk to Roll Out New Pay-Per-Article Feature for Twitter

News by Roberto OrosaRoberto Orosa
Published: May 01, 2023

Key Insights:  

  • Elon Musk announced a new feature that lets media publications charge Twitter users per article 
  • While the CEO announced a May launch, his inconsistency with previous announcements have led some to believe the new feature may take longer to roll out 
  • As Twitter beefs up its monetization efforts, some have dubbed the decentralized platform “Bluesky” to be “the next Twitter” 

Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced in a tweet his plans to roll out a feature that lets media publications charge users per article "with one click.” Set to launch this May, the new Twitter service will give users who don’t want to commit to full subscriptions an option to pay for and read single articles instead. 

“Should be a major win-win for both media orgs & the public,” Musk noted. 

Twitter has yet to announce the cut it will get from paid articles, as well as the new rules news outlets would need to follow.  

Musk and his history of inconsistency 

While the billionaire CEO announced that the pay-as-you go service will roll out this month, users are inclined to take this with a grain of salt.  

Musk and his company have had a history of being inconsistent when it comes to dates. 

Last March 24, Twitter announced its plans to “wind down” on its legacy verified program, removing the blue check mark from accounts who are not subscribed to Twitter Blue come April 1. However, legacy account holders saw that their blue checks were still intact even after the date. In a now deleted tweet, Musk explained the delay by saying the implementation would need a “few weeks grace.” 

A few weeks later, the CEO followed up saying the new date for removing legacy checks will be 4/20 - a date in celebration of marijuana, and one he had often used when it came to announcements. 

Several days after April 20, the social media platform backtracked on their decision, as “top” legacy verified accounts with more than 1 million followers regaining their blue check even without subscribing to Twitter Blue. 

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Bluesky makes waves 

Musk is doing everything he can to make Twitter a paid social media app, but his efforts may not be enough to salvage its losses.  

After firing 80% of its workforce, losing its top advertisers, and dropping down to $20 billion in value, a Mashable report revealed that only 600,000 out of roughly 250 million Twitter users subscribe to Blue – making up less than 1% of its total users.  

On top of that, up and coming social media apps are looking to seriously compete against the bird app. 

Bluesky, the decentralized platform backed by ex-Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has already been dubbed by some as “the next Twitter.” 

As of last Wednesday, the app has already garnered over 375,000 downloads on iOS worldwide and about 100,000 on the Google Play Store, despite being an invite-only platform at present.  

Activist Jordan Uhl, who joined Bluesky last April 14, said that the app may have the potential to be the first real alternative to the bird app.  

“There’s just been this huge influx of people who are fed up with the way Twitter is going and haven’t found a viable alternative, and it seems like this is what they think could be the next Twitter,” he explained. 

Another user has even referred to invite codes to the app as “the new blue check.” 

Bluesky began as a project during Dorsey’s time as CEO of Twitter back in 2019. It aims to offer users more power in terms of content moderation, while giving a social media experience similar to the old Twitter.  

True enough, the decentralized “microblogging” platform boasts features that closely resemble the bird app’s, such as a vertical interface and posts limited to 300 characters. 

Will you be downloading Bluesky once it's public? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter and Instagram

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